Posts Tagged ‘clothing’

Some Swazi Firsts

March 18th, 2011 No comments

I was able to get most of my "firsts" taken care of during our last trip to Swaziland: first time to Africa, first time driving on left side of the road, seeing my first zebra and croc, first time eating impala and warthog, etc.  Even still, there have been plenty of new "firsts" for me this trip:

First Black Mamba Sighting – The Black Mamba is the fastest snake and can kill a full grown human in less than hour.  Thankfully the one I saw was from the safety of the car and it was a small one.  Mambas are the most common snake in Swaziland – luckily they tend to avoid confrontation. 

First Swazi Funeral – Unfortunately one of our staff members had his mother pass away this week.  We didn’t stay for the whole funeral, but we did attend part of it (similar to visitation/wake in the States).  Very humbling.

First time picking Tabasco chilies – Cabrini raises chili peppers that are then sold to Tabasco.  On Saturday morning we headed out early with the children at the hostel to help with the harvest.

First siSwati Mass – On Sunday, we went to the traditional service at the mission.  It is entirely in siSwati, but was still very meaningful.  The dome structure of the church makes for excellent acoustics.  The sound of the singing will stick with me for a long time.

First housing contract that included the phrase "Concubines are strictly discouraged." – While it may seem very unusual to us, this is actually an issue in Swaziland where many people still practice polygamy.

First food delivery in the bush – On Tuesday we had some gogos (grandmothers) come asking for assistance.  These women could hardly walk, but made it all the way to the mission (probably a 15km trip).  We took them back home along with some World Food Program provisions.

First time watching cricket match (on TV) – Not only did I watch, but I actually learned to enjoy it.  In case you didn’t know, cricket is a pretty big deal in a large part of the world.  This week the ICC World Cup is taking place (it only occurs every 4 years).  The Aussie volunteer I was staying with is a huge fan and took the time to explain the basics to me.

First time hanging clothes to dry – Here at Cabrini they have washers, but not dryers. With the heat and dryness here most of the year, clothes dry extremely quickly.  Surprisingly, I have never really had to hang dry my clothes until this trip.

First Swazi thunderstorm / power outage – On Tuesday night, after a week of hot dry weather, we had a heck of a storm roll through.  We got at least 3 hours of heavy rain and an amazing light show for a good hour.  We also lost power.  Things are pretty simply here so lack of power is not a big deal – people manage – but it did mean no fans and no water. 

The next day I got stuck in an afternoon storm and ended up spending about 45 minutes in the local marketplace.  After the rain subsided, there was a beautiful rainbow over the mission.

First time watching Al Jezeera – After Al Jezeera released tapes for Osama Bin Laden in 2001, I had always assumed they were a radical fringe new agency.  Not the case at all.  Of all the news outlets available here (CNN, FOX, BBC, SKY, etc.), Al Jezeera is the most professional and provides the best "hard" news coverage.

Baby Legs Argument

October 29th, 2009 7 comments

Beth and I have been married for 5 years and for those most part, we have been conflict free. That has all changed in the last month. I know I should not air out our dirty laundry for the whole blogosphere, but I have to get this off my chest.

Ever since the weather has gotten colder, Beth has been on this baby leg warmer kick. We probably have 10 pairs either in the house or on order. I think they are hideous (Think 1980’s aerobics outfits meet grandpa’s sock drawer). Have a look for yourself. Beth has written a blog post about how much she loves these leg warmers. Here is a picture of our daughter wearing them:

Mikaylas Baby Legs

Mikayla's Baby Legs

Here is the rub… I am not against the “idea” of these infant accessories — in fact, I think they are brilliant. You can keep your baby’s legs warm without having to deal with an extra pair of pants when changing diapers. You can keep them in the damper bag and always have an option if it gets cold. The problem is they are so gosh-darn ugly. No self-respecting father is going to put pink argyle leg warmers on his baby and take her out into public.

Rather than try to convince Beth to lay off purchasing these things (Hey, at least she only buys $7 knit tubes and not $7,000 jewelery — I can live with that), I have decided to advocate for the perfect pair. Something that is functional and not floundering in fashion faux pas. Here is what I want to see. I want a pair of black leg warmers made out of water-proof soft-shell material and complete with adjustable elastic bands. That way it will super-warm; it will match (most) every outfit; they will stay up on little Mikayla; and best of all, if (when) she spits up on them, you don’t have to replace them, you only have to wash them off. Now that is a pair of leg warmers I could get behind.

Until we find a pair like that, I guess Beth and I will just have to continue butting heads. I think we will make it through it. 🙂